Lewis: Slight of hand


(Disclaimer - This chapter fits much earlier in the story. It begins the story of the skirmish mentioned previously.)



"We're done sitting on our hands," Mr. Elliot reported. He had just come from a meeting with the officers. As our squad leader, we learned about most things from him -- about things within the army, that is. News from the outside was scarce. Luke told me that there use to be a scout and messanger named Jon that would come around to update us. I had never seen him.

"What's going on?" Luke asked as he stood up, already beginning to put on his jacket.

"Gear up," Mr. Elliot ordered. "It's time to strike back. We are getting out of this swamp one way or another."

Luke and I exchanged looks, and I was pretty sure we had the same thought, the same thought going through every non officer's head: it was about time.

Our squad was assigned to the right flank. There was a left flank but no center force to speak of, which seemed odd to me. There were only a few archers stationed in between the two flanks. 

I was not an officer, though, and although I questioned the time it took to come up with a strategy, I was in no position to question the actual strategy.But, I wanted to learn, so I asked about it. Mr. Elliot's answer reassured me a little.

"It's sort of an ambush," he said. "We attack from one side. The enemy reponds. We then attack from the other side, hopefully confusing them some. In any case, we give them two targets to worry about. We don't have a center force because we want to direct the enemy."

"What do you mean direct?" I asked as I gathered the arrows for my quiver.

"Because the idea is to push them back, not beat their brains out." He paused, counting his arrows. "We put most of our force on the two sides to give a false impression. The few archers in the center will enter the battle last in an effort to turn the opposing force around."

"A little slight of hand," Luke spoke up for the first time in this conversation.

"Exactly," his father exclaimed. "It will look like we have more than we actually have." He crossed his fingers and winked at us.

The End

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